WRKF News

Wallis Watkins

Today, the Legislature begins the second week of a three month-long regular session — and there's a lot of work to be done. But, according to a statewide survey, few Louisianians are confident that state government can handle its biggest problems. 

The Louisiana legislature has finished its first week of the regular session. Gov. John Bel Edwards laid out his legislative priorities in an address to the chamber on Monday. Edwards also appeared before the Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations to support bills that would raise the state minimum wage and require state contractors to abide by the Equal Pay for Women Act.

Sarah Gamard/LSU Manship School News Service

Appearing before the Senate Labor committee Thursday, Gov. John Bel Edwards urged members to pass equal pay and minimum wage legislation. 

Some lawmakers say Louisiana’s constitution makes it difficult to address the state’s budget crisis. So Rep. Franklin Foil (R-Baton Rouge) says it should be rewritten, at least in part. That hasn’t been done since the 1970s. 

Wallis Watkins

The Legislature has started considering next year's budget, including $700 million in cuts. On Tuesday, Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, the state’s chief budget officer, set the scene for the House Appropriations committee. 

Wallis Watkins

Gov. John Bel Edwards kicked off the regular session Monday with a state-of-the-state address. He touted accomplishments from his first two years in office, such as chipping away at the backlog of infrastructure projects, a low unemployment rate and bipartisan criminal justice reform. 

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association

The Trump Administration is placing a tariff — or tax — on imported steel and aluminum in an effort to bolster U.S. manufacturing.

The price of imported steel will go up by 25 percent, which means construction costs will go up, too. 

Credit rating agencies are taking notice of the ongoing political gridlock in Louisiana’s legislature, and it could lead to higher borrowing rates for the state. 

MARTIN VIA FLICKR / CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/LICENSES/BY-ND/2.0/

The state legislature couldn't figure out a way to solve the budget shortfall for next fiscal year. That leaves Louisiana’s universities — and students on TOPS scholarships — wondering how to pay for school. An answer isn't likely to come before June.

Wallis Watkins

Legislators are moving on from a failed special session to focus on the regular session that starts Monday.

Robert Travis Scott is President of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, a non-partisan public policy group. Despite the collapse of the special session, Scott says there's still progress to be made over the next few months. 

Pages